Tuesday, September 16, 2008

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Singapore jobless rate rises to 2.3% in June 2008: Real Wages Down as Inflation Soars

Singapore's jobless rate rose to 2.3% in the second quarter after seasonal adjustments, compared to 2% in the first three months, in line with expectations of rising unemployment amid a slowing economy.

For the second consecutive quarter, the overall unemployment rate rose from a seasonally adjusted 1.7% in December to 2% in March and further to 2.3% in June.

Construction Industry added most jobs

The construction industry contributed the most jobs of 22100 in Q2 2008, substantially higher than Q1 2008. Outside of construction, employment growth has moderated from the previous quarter. Services added 37600 workers in Q2, down from the gains of 46500 in Q1. Manufacturing sector, the worst performer, posted gains of 10200 in Q2 2008, down from the increase of 11800 in Q1 2008.
Singapore Employment Chart 2007-2008
Notice from the chart above that job creation is moving away from the manufacturing sector, where Singaporeans are traditionally employed, to the construction sector which does not involve most Singaporeans,

Retrenchment remains at same level year-on-year

After rising for two consecutive quarters, retrenchment eased in the Q2 to about the same level as a year ago. MOM estimates show that 1900 workers were retrenched in the Q2 2008, down from 2274 in the Q1 2008. The manufacturing retrenched 1300 workers and the service industries 600.
Singapore Retrenchment Chart 2007-2008

Resident Unemployment remains at same level year-on-year

The increase among the resident labour force was from 2.4% in December 2007 to 2.9 per cent in March, and 3.1% in June 2008. The prevailing overall and resident unemployment rates are at the same levels as a year ago in June 2007.
Singapore Unemployment Rate 2007-2008

Real Wages Down as Inflation Soars

MOM data also shows that wage increases by 3.1%. But inflation rate was 7.5% in June. So real wage increase - wage increase minus the effect of inflation - actually fell. The services sector was hardest hit, with workers' real wages falling the most, by -4.6%. The manufacturing sector saw -2.3% drop and -0.5% for construction workers.

Singapore Employment Q1-Q2 2008: Wages-Productivity

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